Cotterstock 2022

Tuesday 12 July 

On Tuesday evening members of the Peterborough Local History Society visited Cotterstock village and St Andrew’s Church.  The Church looked really lovely and there was a gorgeous aroma thanks to Mave who created striking flower arrangements in the chancel and porch. 

It was a beautifully warm, summer’s evening as people gathered in the church from 6.30 p.m to watch the Warmington Benefice Bell Ringers ringing the bells. They were also able to see the bells themselves ringing in the tower on our television and were keen to learn more about the history of our bells and the major restoration and augmentation project of 2017. 

Reverend David Bond talked briefly about the history of St Andrew’s before taking the visitors on a guided tour exploring the interior and exterior of the church. 

He then explained the nature and location of Cotterstock village and conducted a guided walk to the village hall noting some buildings and landscape features on the way. 

Soft drinks and delicious cakes were then served waitress style in the hall in vintage bone-china crockery and on crisp white cloths. 

The following day we received a lovely email (see extract below) from the society thanking us for organising such an enjoyable evening for everyone: 

“Thank you to David for his interesting talk and delightful walk, and to you and your team, for looking after us all so well yesterday evening and for providing us with such fabulous cakes! It’s not just that though, is it? I know how much work goes into organising anything and appreciate your attention to detail in everything you did. Trevor and I were both really pleased with how the evening went, so thank you. 

To us, the pastoral side of running the Society is key, so to give people the opportunity to sit together and chat is important. To be able to do it in such a lovely way – your presentation of the tables and the lovely cups and saucers, etc  made it all very special – and obviously I’m back to the cakes again!!” 

We are very grateful to the Warmington band for undertaking a demonstration ring, to David for giving up his time and preparing this talk, to Mave for the floral arrangements and to Diane, Rachel and Christine for serving the refreshments so efficiently in the hall and cleaning and tidying up afterwards, which is always the worst bit! 

A small hamper of edible delights was presented to the Warmington band to thank them not only for undertaking an observed ring this evening but also for opening and closing the “150 Years of Childhood” exhibition and all the other special occasions they have helped us to celebrate in the past. Their support is valued and appreciated. 

The evening raised £300 for St Andrew’s; £50 was donated to the church bell fund and £250 to the regular St Andrew’s church account. 

Wednesday, 22nd June


Saturday 4th June

To mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth the Second  the Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers are aiming to ring all the church bells in the diocese over the bank holiday. To support this initiative the Warmington Band of Church Bell Ringers rang the bells of St Andrew’s on Saturday 4 June. We are very grateful to Julie, Sylvia, Doreen, Yvette, John, Chris and Alex who organised and conducted the ring.

The bell ringers are always keen to recruit although Sylvia’s granddaughter Tilly was a little too young at just seven years old; she was delighted to chime a bell under Alex’s careful supervision though.

An outdoor church service was conducted by Reverend Dr Donald MacFadyen and a tree was planted in the churchyard to commemorate her majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Bob Richardson who was church warden at St Andrew’s for many years planted the tree with twins Charlotte and Rupert Booker two of our youngest residents. Hopefully the tree will thrive and serve as a living memorial to the Queen’s 70 years of service.

This special service was followed by a “bring and share” lunch on tables set up along church walk.  Photographs of this and other Jubilee activities and celebrations can be seen on the Cotterstock village website.

Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May

After months of planning, we staged our 150 Years of Childhood Exhibition in St Andrew’s Church. The Warmington Band of Bell Ringers heralded the start of the exhibition by ringing the bells from 10.15-10.45 a.m. and they also rang to close the exhibition on Monday from 5.30 – 6.00 p.m. We are really grateful for their enthusiasm, help and support.

When we opened the door, we were delighted to see a queue of people waiting to come in. 

Robin Windsor had created gorgeous floral arrangements and the first thing that greeted people on arrival in the porch was an eye-catching arrangement in a model wooden lorry.

The exhibition was staged on 4’x4’ boards placed on top of the pews in the nave, these were covered in brightly coloured felts that had been kindly donated by a local company.  The boards were surrounded in Perspex, generously donated to us, to keep all the loaned items on exhibition secure; many people commented on how professional it all looked.

Adrian Eldridge had made bespoke display stands for the clothing so that all the christening gowns and other items could be presented safely and shown to their best advantage.

A large jewellers cabinet had kindly been given to us by David Darcey whose jewellers in Peterborough was closing down.  This made it possible for us to accept precious smaller items for exhibition as we could display them securely.  We had silver christening mugs, spoons and money boxes, Steiff cuddly toys, gold and silver bracelets, a Victorian china headed doll, ivory inlaid hair brushes and exquisite coral and silver rattles, baby’s bonnets, one linen corded cap was worn in the late 1700s. We even had a boxed Brittains carriage and horses made to commemorate the Queen’s coronation in 1952 displayed alongside two portrait miniatures of children painted on ivory and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1852.

The oldest item that we had on display was a rocking oak cot inscribed 1728.

The organisers were very grateful to Mr Capron and the Southwick Hall trustees for loaning some of the older nursery items to the exhibition.

We were very fortunate to have a huge Victorian dolls’ house and gorgeous miniature furniture on show which has been owned by the same Cotterstock family for over 130 years.

The steering group wanted to make the exhibition interactive and interesting for children. Little teddies, kindly knitted by Margaret Wing, Elisabeth Rooms and Angela Whiteway were hidden amongst the exhibits and  children were given a little book and a pencil so that they could tick off the teddies as they found them and this proved to be popular.  There were also old annuals Ladybird books and comics in the chancel that people could look at and read. Activities were available for children to do at the village hall too and some of the peg dolls created there were really cute and children brought them back to church to be displayed.

A video was created that was playing on a loop throughout the exhibition which people said they really enjoyed. In addition to many other things, it featured the story of Hornby trains, very topical, and some of the old and not terribly PC advertisements we all remember including the Milky Bar Kid Typhoo chimpanzees.

The Market Deeping Model Railway Club had layouts running in the chancel all weekend which particularly fascinated the children and the dads!  We really do appreciate all the time and trouble they went to to be in Cotterstock for three whole days.

The comments in the visitor’s book (which we always forget to remind people to write in) show just how much visitors enjoyed rekindling their childhood memories.

Paying adults received a token to claim a goody bag at the village hall where we were serving refreshments.  All the items in the goody bags had been very generously donated and visitors received four out of five possible items from a Beano comic, a packet of seeds, two Weetabix cereal bars, a milky bar and a packet of Lego. The goody bag bags were also generously donated by Jolly’s Toy Shop at Thrapston.

Villagers had knitted, crocheted and sewn bunting to make Cotterstock look really jolly for the event. The renowned flower pot people were out and about too dressed as characters in well-loved children’s rhymes or stories.

Revd Dr Donald McFadyen drew the raffle prize draw in the village hall on Monday 2 May at 5.00 p.m. He was ably assisted by Georgie who contacted all the lucky winners afterwards too.

In order to stage this event, the steering group needed a lot of support from villagers to be stewards in church to ensure that we kept everyone and everything safe and to serve the refreshments over all three days.  It was a real team effort and worth all the hard work as we raised an amazing £4443.78 for St Andrew’s.  A huge thank you to everyone who entrusted us with and allowed us to exhibit their precious items or helped in any way to make this event such a success, before, during or clearing up afterwards. It was fun to stage and will be remembered for a long time to come.

More photographs can be seen in the Cotterstock Section “Photos and Videos of Events”.

Thursday 28th April

Rachel Brooker was interviewed by Bernie Keith on Radio Northampton about the 150 Years of Childhood exhibition.  Rachel did really well, she was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and charismatic and we think she might be destined for another career in broadcasting.

Saturday 2nd April

The following article about our 150 Years of Childhood exhibition has appeared in the Oundle Life magazine which the steering group feel is an excellent bit of free advertising.

Saturday 26th March

Yesterday lots of villagers helped to sort the Jumble, people have been so generous and it is a quality jumble sale with good clean items. Villagers arrived at 9.30 a.m. to help with the sale and we were amazed to see the huge queue of people that were waiting in the sunshine for the doors to open. Thanks to the gorgeous weather we had most of the stalls outside in the garden to keep everyone well-spaced out with Covid levels still high in this area. The Village Hall Committee and the PCC have agreed that 50% of the money raised will go to the Ukraine Appeal and the remainder will be shared equally between themselves. It was a huge amount of work for everyone who helped but the sale exceeded all our expectations and raised a whopping £1476.56. Thank you to all who helped in any way, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Unsold Jumble was given to Tansor Church who are organising a Jumble Sale in the Autumn and to the Air Ambulance charity shop in Oundle. Suitable clothing and accessories were taken to a Red Cross depot in Peterborough where they are collecting clothing for Ukrainian refugees arriving in this country.

Saturday 12th March

It was bitterly cold this morning as intrepid villagers met at 6.45 am to erect a gazebo at Oundle Farmers’ market to sell our 150 Years of Childhood prize draw tickets. It didn’t ever feel busy on the market, probably because it was so cold but at the end of the day, when we had all thawed out, we counted the proceeds and had taken £448 which was a very pleasing amount.  We had also handed out lots of fliers advertising the exhibition so it was deemed to be a worthwhile venture.

Wednesday 16 February

A group of ringers from Thrapston rang a peal of our bells in 2hr 42min; they celebrated their achievement with a very welcome glass of bubbly. Well done to them – see Ringing World bell board.

Wednesday 9th February

The poster for our village Jumble Sale has been created and is being circulated to advertise the event.


Tuesday 1st February

Village Connect magazine have featured an article about our forthcoming 150 Years of Childhood exhibition which was very eye catching; we are really grateful to them for advertising our event so well.

Wednesday 12th January

The “150 Years of Childhood” steering group made up of Alison, Christine, Dawn, Georgie, Monica, Sam, Rachel, Roger and Sue are continuing to meet to plan the exhibition taking place in St Andrew’s Church over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.  At tonight’s meeting it was decided to hold a printed raffle prize draw and to sell tickets on Oundle Farmers’ Market in March to advertise the event.

Our fliers and posters for the event have been printed and will be useful as we ask local companies and businesses if they would like to sponsor our raffle.

Saturday 1st January

Terry Wright, Andrew Christie, Stuart Weston, David Banks, Elaine Wilkinson and Julian Burton heralded the start of the new year by ringing our bells – see Ringing World bell board.



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Page last updated: 21st July 2022 10:27 AM